Yep…Twitter really does rank highest. So contrary to something I heard 2 weeks ago from an insurance industry CEO who said Twitter was dying, it looks like it’s quite alive and well. (Btw, the a fore-mentioned executive has no experience with Twitter.  Ummm…. the things people say…)

See page 20 of the report, 2010 Social Media Marketing Industry Report – ton of fascinating data-points in here.  Take a few minutes to scan.  Might change your mind about a few things, or reinforce some of your ideas.

My own experience with Twitter is thriving.  In the last 4 weeks or so, I’ve seen a noticeable increase in my followers, both in quantity and quality.

  • Going back to August 23rd – 82 new Followers
  • Insurance or e-business/SocialTech-related – 39
  • SO… ~15% surge, with ~50% of the new = targeted

Useful? Big time.  I’m meeting new people I never would have met otherwise, people on my topic, people smarter than me, people doing the things I’m writing and talking about with my clients, etc. etc.  Some of them are adding significantly to my River of Information, as Scott Klososky coined the phrase. More followers is inherently important and useful.  Why?  A number of reasons.  Here’s one: Social Relevancy.

Social Relevancy is the little known third leg of the Social Tech stool, the first being Social Media, 2nd Social Networks, and 3rd Social Relevancy.  Social Relevancy is all about the Influence a person or an entity has in the social scape relative to a subject matter.  Take me as a quick example.  I’m obviously trying to impact my Social Relevancy with respect to Insurance and Technology, Social Media Marketing, Socially Facilitated Selling, and so forth.  So maintaining a Blog, a Twitter feed, a Linkedin presence, and authoring a Book is all part of building Social Relevancy.  And the number of people that are paying attention to what I’m doing matters.  Numbers matter. Whenever someone introduces an author, they recount how many books they’ve sold.  An athlete – how many championships.  A veteran – how many combat awards.

It’s no different with Social.  How many Subscribers to the Blog?  How many Followers on Twitter?  How many Linkedin Connections?  How many Friends or Fans on Facebook?  The numbers indicate how many people someone or an entity can reach with their posts or updates, and of those people that they can reach, how much influence do they have over them.  Will their followers Retweet or post back-links to the content? In other words, is there a viral marketing potential there.  Relevance = Influence = Importance

For example, I just looked at my Linkedin Network.  Under “Network Statistics”, it says I’m connected to 909 people who are connected to about 300,000 people who are connected to about 9.5 million people.  So doing the math I guess my average Connection has about 300 Connections.  I’d be interested to know what the median is – probably more like 50-100 since I connected to about 50 of the TopLinked people, or LION’s (Linkedin Open Networkers, those with thousands of Connections).  But either way, that’s a lot – clearly useful if I want to communicate and share.  There’s 75 million total in Linkedin, so I’m connected to over 10% of them.  Wow!  That’s useful.

But here’s the REALLY useful thing with Twitter – RESEARCH.  As I’ve mentioned before, I use Tweetdeck and twitter search almost every day.  I’ve got active searches running all the time on keywords I’m tracking for special clients or purposes.  I’ll pop in and out of searches using columns in Tweetdeck.  Very very useful.  Twitter Search is kind of the exact opposite of Google Search.

  • First of all, the results display in order of recency, so you get the newest content first.  Usually G returns older, more ‘popular’ results at the top, right?
  • Second, the results often have links to the main story, and the story often has links to even more related content.  So within a few clicks from Tweetdeck, I’m inside some really useful content that was published TODAY or yesterday or this week.
  • Third, I can also quickly see how many times the content has been shared socially, how many comments there are, what the comments say, and so forth – all useful data-points relative to the veracity and utility of the content.
  • Last, absolutely, I can quickly and easily Comment and Share what I found myself, giving my network the benefit of my time and research.

Do you see how that’s just a lot more useful netnet than Google?  Plus Google doesn’t include Social content like Tweets.

Do you see why it’s so imperative to be publishing content in a way that is easily shared?

Do you see why Viral Marketing can be EXTREMELY effective, not only from eyeballs but also from cost?

Think e-business circa 1999.  Social is 2010.  E-business generated BIG revenue in 10 years, really changed the landscape.  Social will make e-business look small.

And Oh Yeah, I haven’t even mentioned the SEO impact of Twitter on what I’m doing.  Read about Twitter and SEO here.

So 4 useful data-points on Twitter – recent Growth, Social Relevance, Research, and SEO.  Still think it’s ‘dying’???

What questions or comments to you have?  Others likely have the same or similar.  Share how it helps you?  Happy to dialog below.

One last thing on Twitter.  A few of you have said, “Dude, I don’t understand what you are saying with your Linkedin Status updates..” (i.e. Tweets, since I use Tweetdeck to interact with Linkedin (oops, that’s a secret)).  Here are a few.  Let me decode them.  It’s pretty simply once you understand the syntax or format – or language – of Twitter.  Remember, with Twitter, you have to be short, concise, and useful – on several levels.

RT @earnestagency: The ‘nature of phones’ makes mobile important part of your #social strategy http://ht.ly/2ICE5 #B2B #B2C #Marketing

Tweets are

  1. a PHRASE,
  2. a LINK,
  3. and some KEYWORDS.

In this case, it also has the original author up front.  RT means Retweet, which means I saw the original tweet, clicked through, found it useful, and decided to share it.  The # is called a hashtag.  Notice that on Linkedin or Twitter, you can click on the word if it’s preceded by a hashtag.  That makes it easy for the reader to click into that thread on Twitter.  So in the above Tweet, if you click on #social or #B2B, notice what comes up – a whole conversation on that topic.

That’s it.  Let’s try one more of my tweets from this week…

An #insurance CMO yesterday “absolutely NO WAY 2 track #ROI of #SMM” He’s not on any #Social Ntwrk http://bit.ly/cVjJ5Q caseinpoint

See how it works? Every character in a Tweet is important.  So lots of abbreviations, left out participles, etc.  Not all words are useful in a Tweets.  Tweets are typically scanned.  Only the keywords matter, and they need to be searchable.  If you want to be Retweeted (Viral), the Tweet needs to be useful and worthy, and have room at the end for the retweeter’s comment, too.  So really it’s NOT 140 characters – general rule of thumb is 120.

That’s it for now.  I’ve spilled my guts on Twitter.  Please – you share as well.  Hey, Retweet or Share this blog post if you think your network will learn something!  But Comment and drop a back-link to your URL (or your company, or your client site – remember… SEO!)  THANK YOU.

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Upcoming events

KAIA – sharing ‘the good stuff’ in K.C. Can’t wait.

PIMA Webinar end of October – will be running a survey before

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But first – NCAA DIVISION 1 MEN’S SOCCER Friday night 8pm #1 Akron v. #2 Tulsa – HUGE!!!.  Tune into FOX Soccer Channel and maybe see me hustling the sidelines with my camera (I keep a low profile, though)!  It’s gonna be CRAZY!!!!!  PICTURES WILL BE POSTED HERE.

And Oh Yeah, my son Zach just had the best game of his career last night.  I missed it, but read about it here and here.  Zach Wise is THE MAN with the “long throw”!

Picture I made of the mighty warriors that upset St. Bonaventure 4-0.  Huge